Political debates are funny things. It’s not so much who won, but whose team spins best.
Immediately following the event, everyone seemed to agree that the NDP’s Jack Layton had done very well and that the PM Steve Harper had more than held his own.
No one that I know or heard from in any way who saw the English language debate thought that Liberal Michael Ignatieff “won” the debate last night. No, he did not drool. In that way, The Igster absolutely overwhelmed the expectations of anyone dim enough to have wholeheartedly imbibed the Tory character assassination by attack ad that preceded the election by many months.
Twenty-fours later, Layton is basically no longer part of the conversation in the English Canadian mainstream media. Ignatieff, apparently, scored through the repetitive use of mind numbingly short sound bytes that have, sure enough, been repeated over and over as clips since the debate ended.
So…minutes away from the French language debate, English Canada seems programmed for the exhausted polarity of the past: Tory vs. Grit.
Perhaps en francais Monsieur Layton will claim and cling to a seat with the grown ups. He and independantiste Gilles Duceppe can still play decisive roles in this election in a place called Canada.